HUD No. 05-126
September 16, 2005
JACKSON TOURS HURRICANE RAVAGED NEW ORLEANS AND BATON ROUGE
Pledges unprecedented effort HUD to build a better, stronger Gulf communities
NEW ORLEANS - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson today met with New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, and took an hour-long helicopter flight over the city to view the extent of the housing devastation now that floodwaters are receding.
"While progress is being made pumping the water out of the flooded neighborhoods, it is still a sobering sight," said Jackson. "There is no doubt that damage to this great city's housing stock is unprecedented and the level of HUD's creativity and responsiveness will also be unprecedented."
Jackson also traveled to Baton Rouge to tour the Joint Housing Solutions Center that includes more than 20 agencies, including HUD, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity. This is Jackson's second visit to the region in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He also visited New Orleans with President Bush two weeks ago.
Jackson traveled to Baton Rouge with U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Rob Portman to meet with Mayor Kip Holden as well as a collection of other federal officials to map strategies for the region's recovery. Following a meeting at the Joint Housing Solutions Center, Jackson and approximately 40 local religious leaders participated in an observance of the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance.
In the week following the hurricane, HUD dispatched a team of experts into the region to assess the damage to homes, to assist in providing housing to displaced families and to help local communities design a strategy to revitalize affected areas. In the coming months, HUD experts who have studied building design and construction standards will help local communities to develop the sorts of Hurricane and flood-resistant housing concepts that have been successfully used in the Carolinas and Florida.Jackson added, "We want the people of the entire Gulf Coast region to know that HUD will be their partner in the process of rebuilding their communities."